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|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2010-02-05                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406 ]
[ Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle (830) 866-3533, or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov; Chris Holmes (979) 229-2886 or chris.holmes@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 5, 2010
Family Camping Workshops Offered in Austin Area This Spring
Camping in Texas can be a fun family outing, but it can also be an intimidating and daunting task for those who have never been. Thanks to the Texas Outdoor Family program, families have the chance to learn the basics of camping and enjoy the great outdoors.
The TOF program is hosting a number of camping workshops in state parks across Texas, including 10 in and around the Austin area. During these overnight workshops, participants learn the skills needed to survive outdoors, including how to set up and break down camp, how to start a fire, and outdoor cooking lessons.
In addition, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will provide all the camping equipment needed as well as lead a day's worth of activities catered to all ages. Activities are specific to each park location and include trail exploration, nature activities and various outdoor activities.
"These workshops are great for people to be able to experience a new activity with the family that they maybe have never done before or not done in a long time," said Carlee Klattenhoff, the TOF outdoor education coordinator for Hill Country parks.
There are plenty of chances to take advantage of this unique opportunity in the Austin area. Buescher State Park, a companion park to Bastrop State Park, is hosting a workshop the weekend of Feb. 13-14. In addition to the nature activities offered at every park, campers will get a chance to learn how to kayak and how to fish.
They also will be introduced to the sport of geocaching, a high-tech scavenger hunt in which campers use Global Positioning System devices to find hidden treasures.
South Llano River State Park will hold a special themed workshop on Feb. 27-28 centered on introducing campers to fly fishing. Participants will learn the basics such as fly tying and casting, and then will be able to test their skills on the river themselves.
"They will be learning basic river ecology, what they'll be fishing for," said Klattenhoff. "Then they are free to fish all of Saturday. On Sunday morning, there will be open fishing and folks available to help them out."
OtherTOF workshops in the area include Blanco State Park on March 6-7, Lake Somerville State Park on April 10-11, Inks Lake State Park on April 17-18, Enchanted Rock on May 8-9, Colorado Bend State Park on May 15-16, McKinney Falls State Park on May 22-23 and Palmetto State Park on May 29-30.
Each workshop costs $55 and covers the cost of up to six people, park entry, campsite rental, equipment, park ranger-led instruction, park-specific activities and a state park Junior Ranger certification program. All campers are asked to bring are a sleeping bag or bedding and food and drink. They also will be provided with a list of suggested items they could bring.
"There's not a whole lot of investment into this because we provide the gear and instruction," said Klattenhoff. "It gives people the opportunity to be outside and utilize these state parks that belong to them; we hope it will open their eyes to this treasure they have, give them the opportunity to get out and do something fun and in a different setting."
For more information on the workshops and this spring's schedule, visit the Texas Outdoor Family Web page. Families may register by calling (512) 389-8903 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and speaking to a Texas Outdoor Family representative or by sending an email to tofsp@tpwd.texas.gov anytime. After registration, a confirmation packet with details will be sent.
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On the Net:
http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/bof
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ ]
Feb. 5, 2010
Abandoned Crab Trap Drop-off Sites Announced
CORPUS CHRISTI -- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials announced drop-off sites for the 8th Texas Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program, scheduled this year from Feb. 19 to 28.
During this 10-day period, all Texas bays will be closed to crabbing with crab traps, and any traps left in the bay will be presumed to be abandoned and considered litter under state law, thus allowing volunteers to legally remove any crab traps they find.
Volunteers are needed to assist in the coast-wide effort to remove the numerous wire mesh traps that have been lost or abandoned since last year's cleanup.
To facilitate volunteer trap removal efforts this year, TPWD will provide facilitated trap drop-off sites at several locations along the coast Saturday, Feb. 20, from 8 a.m. to noon, weather permitting. Additionally, at all sites, dumpsters marked with banners will be available to receive traps for the duration of the closure.
Volunteers can work at their own pace during the closure as time and weather permit, but traps cannot be removed prior to Feb. 19 or after Feb 28. Last year, volunteers, with the aid of numerous sponsors, removed more than 1,900 traps bring the total removed since the program began to 25,974.
Thanks to the donations of the Coastal Conservation Association, Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, and others, volunteers can arrange to pick-up free tarps, gloves, trap hooks and additional information at their local TPWD Coastal Fisheries Field Stations. TPWD requests that volunteers record and submit information about the number of traps that they collect as well as any sightings of diamondback terrapins. Also those removing traps within the boundary of the Redfish Bay State Scientific Area should be aware of crab trap floats marking prop scar study sites and should avoid removing these floats.
For more information about the Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program and how you can volunteer, please contact your local TPWD Coastal Fisheries Office or Art Morris at the Corpus Christi Field Station: (361) 825-3356, art.morris@tpwd.texas.gov; or Tonya Wiley at the Dickinson Marine Lab: (281) 534-0131, tonya.wiley@tpwd.texas.gov.
* Sabine Lake -- Local TPWD coordinator Jerry Mambretti (409) 983-1104
--Tx/La Causeway Boat Ramp -- Trap drop-off site
Galveston Bay -- Local TPWD coordinator Bill Balboa (281) 534-0110
--Jones Lake State Ramp (Fat Boys)Facilitated & Trap drop-off site
--TPWD Dickinson Marine Lab-1502 FM 517 E, Dickinson -- Trap drop-off site
--Galveston Island State Park -- Trap drop off site
--Seabrook SH 146 Bridge Public Boat Ramp -- Trap drop-off site
--Fort Anahuac County Park Boat Ramp -- Facilitated & Trap drop-off site
--Chocolate Bayou State Boat Ramp- FM 2004 -- Facilitated & Trap drop-off site
--Pier 30 Bait and Tackle-1617 E. Hwy 332, Freeport -- Trap drop-off site
Matagorda Bay -- Local TPWD coordinator Leslie Hartman (361) 972-6253
--Mitchell Cut Boat (ICWW) Ramp @ Sargent -- Trap drop-off site
--Matagorda Harbor @ Matagorda -- Trap drop-off site
San Antonio Bay -- Local TPWD coordinator Norman Boyd (361) 983-4425
--Charlie's Bait Stand -- Facilitated & Trap drop-off site
--Port O'Connor TPWD Docks -- Facilitated & Trap drop-off site
Aransas Bay -- Local TPWD coordinator Karen Meador (361) 729-2328
--Goose Island State Park Boat Ramp -- Trap drop-off site
--North Cove Harbor Boat Ramp -- Trap drop-off site
Corpus Christi Bay -- Local TPWD coordinator Tom Wagner (361) 729-2328
--South Conn Brown Harbor Boat Ramp -- Facilitated & Trap drop-off site
Upper Laguna Madre -- Local TPWD coordinator Todd Neahr (361) 825-3353
--Bluff Landing Marina -- Trap drop-off site
--Kaufer Park Boat Ramp -- Trap drop-off site
Lower Laguna Madre -- Local TPWD coordinator Mark Lingo (956) 350-4490
--Adolfe Thomae County Park @ Arroyo City -- Trap drop-off site
--Port Mansfield Navigation District Ramp @ Port Mansfield -- Trap drop-off site
* Correction, Feb. 10, 2010: The original version of this news release omitted the list of drop-off sites. (Return to corrected item.)
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[ Note: This item is more than four years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: Mike Cox, 512-389-8046, mike.cox@tpwd.texas.gov ]
Feb. 5, 2010
Texas Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Deer Trafficking, Stolen Property
AUSTIN -- A four-year, multi-agency investigation that began when two Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Wardens received information about possible stolen property on two Northeast Texas ranches has ended with federal prison sentences for a father and son who pled guilty to transporting stolen property and wildlife trafficking.
Forty-nine-year-old James Dwayne Anderton and his 26-year-old son Jimmie Wallace Anderton, both of Quinlan in Hunt County, Texas were sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Sherman by Judge Marcia Crone.
"This case is an excellent example of a joint effort on the part of local, state and federal law enforcement," said Col. Pete Flores, TPWD's law enforcement director. "We're proud of the work our Game Wardens put in on this case, but everyone involved did a great job in pursuing a complicated investigation that not only resulted in the recovery of thousands of dollars worth of stolen property, it will help keep our Texas deer herd safe from disease by ending an illegal importation operation."
The elder Anderton drew 30 months in federal prison for interstate transportation of stolen property and was ordered to pay $180,952 restitution. His son will serve 27 months in federal prison for interstate transportation and will be jointly responsible for making restitution. In addition, both men got 12 months federal confinement for violations of the Federal Lacey Act involving the illegal transportation of deer across state lines. These sentences will be served concurrently with their other sentence, but they also face 36 months of supervised release following their discharge from prison.
Benjamin Tuggle, Regional Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, agrees with Col. Flores, adding, "We appreciate these kinds of collaborative efforts. It is all about wildlife conservation and to be successful we need to work together. All of the law enforcement agents working on this case are to be commended for their dedication and hard work."
The Andertons operate a turf grass and landscaping business and hold a TPWD permit to breed captive deer. In the spring of 2006 Game Wardens Dale Waters and Eric Collins were looking into some possible deer breeding violations when they received information that the Andertons might be in possession of stolen heavy equipment and trailers.
The wardens relayed this information to Texas Department of Public Safety Motor Vehicle Theft Division Sgts. John Murphy and Rex Wilemon, who drew up a search warrant executed on two pieces of land owned by the Andertons, one in Delta County and the other in Hunt County near Quinlan. Six Game Wardens and Sgt. Brad Chappell of the TPWD Special Operations Unit participated in the search, which resulted in the recovery of stolen farm machinery and construction equipment. Deputies with the Delta and Hunt county sheriff's departments and members of the Northeast Texas Auto Theft Task Force also assisted in the search.
The two DPS investigators presented the findings from their stolen equipment investigation to FBI Special Agent Ken Paith who furthered the investigation and developed sufficient evidence to indict the Andertons on July 8, 2009 for interstate transportation of stolen property. Also indicted on the same charge was Timothy Shane Peavler, 37, of Lone Oak, Texas.
During this time Chappell received information that the Andertons had been unlawfully importing white-tailed deer from Arkansas. The Game Warden sergeant contacted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Mike Merida and began a joint investigation along with Little Rock-based Fish and Wildlife Special Agent Glen Pye and investigators with Arkansas Fish and Game Commission.
This cooperative effort eventually revealed the source of the deer the Andertons were illegally importing. Merida and Chappell determined the Andertons had paid more than $63,000 for at least 125 white-tailed deer and imported them to Texas in violation of a state statute which restricts deer importation.
The two officers eventually learned that the Andertons had hired people to travel to a deer breeder's facility in northern Arkansas, load deer and return to Texas where they delivered the illegal cargo to both the Anderton's properties.
Peavler pled guilty on July 27 last year to interstate transportation of stolen property and was sentenced to six months in federal prison and ordered to pay $42,403 restitution. The Andertons pled guilty Aug. 31.
"TPWD began limiting importation of live white-tailed deer and mule deer into Texas in the spring of 2002 due to concerns over potential spread of two diseases that could be devastating to our deer population, chronic wasting disease (CWD) and bovine tuberculosis," Flores said. "We have worked hard to prevent CWD from being introduced into Texas and so far our state has remained CWD free."
Assistant United States Attorney Randall Blake prosecuted the case.
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